Editorial: Sometimes a Drug Warrior is a Little Too Honest

David Borden, Executive Director

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/borden12.jpg
David Borden
The drug war is intellectually slippery business -- it's impossible to talk straight and effectively defend it. But sometimes a drug warrior is a little too honest.

That was the case this week when an interview with UN anti-drug chief Antonio Maria Costa was published in an Austrian magazine, in which Costa claims black market drug profits propped up the global banking system in 2008. That is, some banks that have survived would have failed, or might have, were it not for drug money laundered into the financial system.

This seems like a bold claim. But it makes sense -- drug money has to go somewhere -- and Costa isn't some local police chief exaggerating the value of a drug seizure to get headlines, he's an economist. The UN isn't always a reliable reporter of the drug situation, but it's worth something. I don't think there's a strong reason for Costa to want to make something like that up.

If the drug trade has saved the financial system, then, or helped to, this requires an evolution of thought. We're accustomed to regarding drugs and drug selling as bad things, but like everything they have their upside. Suppose the drug war magically started to work and the trade were wiped out, or people suddenly stopped using drugs. What would happen to the economy? What would happen to countries like Afghanistan or Colombia or Mexico where a lot of the money being made is in drugs and a lot of people are dependent on that money? Or in some sectors of US society, for that matter?

It would be a catastrophe. Eventually economies would rearrange themselves, to be sure. But the sudden implosion of a large sector of the economy would wreak havoc, not just on the people making a living in the drug trade now, but on the local, national and global economies of which they are a part.

Drug users and even sellers, then, are an integral part of human society -- the larger economic weal depends in part on theirs -- and so our evolution of thought should be about people too, not just economics. We need our drug users, and even our drug sellers, for the most part -- not because they use or sell drugs, but because they're here and we're connected to them, for better or worse.

And if we need them, if in a somewhat flawed way they contribute to the economy on which all of us depend, then they also don't deserve to be persecuted, jailed, have their rights taken away and their lives scarred. If a participant in the drug trade engages in violence, that is one thing; but if a person's only "crime" is a drug offense, it's another.

Along with tolerating these members of society who are now persecuted, we should not ignore the corrupting effects that this situation of money laundering and drug money -- this situation created by prohibition -- can have. With care and planning, we should chart a path away from prohibition, to some form of global legalization instead. Only then will the flood of illegal drug money be stemmed, and the suffering prohibition has caused to individuals and society alike be addressed.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Move to peace talks in the drug war

I think we've evolved now and with so many people supporting the issue and internet activism, we can do away with the push and shove that took so much personal toll. War is not sustainable. Stress creating action.... okay..... stress to the point of anger.... nay!
Actions have to be done in a peaceful way. If we don't want a drug war, how can we move beyond it if we're still fighting?
There are so many people agreeing with the marijuana issue, that we've won the fight! Changing the laws is just moving into the area of peace talks. Sure I can sit here and only see what I want to, but the raids are just symbolic of the past era.
Is is just me or isn't each day filled with complications that leave me saying, " What a world we live in"? Each little thing I encounter is like deciphering a code.
Maybe in this era of communications we're only heading there and it hasn't fully happened. We are like a school of fish. When the fish make a turn some are at the head of the school and then the rest follow later.

Barbara McSpadden, medical marijuana user for 40 years and wife of marijuana prisoner

Welcome to the Brave New World of Narco-Macroeconomics

Mr. Borden,

I could not believe your reaction to Costa's remarks.
This notion of the illegal drug market "propping up" or sustaining a local or regional economy is the stuff of urban legend. Policy-makers in the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania region have understood this phenomenon so well since the late 1980's (at least that's when I, a vocal libertarian, was _told_ about it) that they would not have it any other way.
It is their firm _belief_ that were illegal drugs "legalized" the entire tri-state complex would go into a serious recession.
Consider: Police officers would have to be laid off. Burglary--anecdotally, a crime by and large "caused" by junkies who need quick cash (and/or questionable "jobs") for an overpriced fix--would drop dramatically, as prices would drop and income-scaled clinics/rehabs would provide a fix for pennies a day. With the drop in burglaries and its attendant paranoia, a demand for insurance would drop. Insurance companies' income and profits would drop. The "soft-to-hard-target" industries such as locks, bolts, burglar/car alarms, safes, alarm-reponse business, security firms, etc., would experience a dramatic decline in demand. Car repair shops, glass repair shops would note a decline in calls and lay off workers and cut orders for parts.
And let's not forget the biggies: The Prison-Industrial complex. State prison construction is a multi-billion dollar business, all subsidized by the taxpaying public. Fear motivates the voter to ante up without so much as a gasp.
Batallions of contractors and subcontractors bid and build. Armies of union-wage correctional officers get job security. Some worthless real estate in the middle of nowhere is "suddenly" worth millions.
Courts and judges and district attorneys and court clerks and and bailiffs are hired and files and paper and equipment to run these fine establishments and institutions are paid for with taxes and, mainly, bank loans to the government/taxpayers. The money-lenders make a ton of cash floating those tax-free, interest-bearing bonds that pay for public building/prison construction.
Also, cash and carry sectors of the economy would also decline, as the need for money laundering would cease to exist. Bars that tally several thousands in daily sales with a couple of dozen customers would close; those rents would be lost. Similarly, laundromats, coin-vendor businesses, such as arcades, ma and pa restaurants, used car lots, etc., would no longer be "necessary" as money laundering fronts.
I could go one. The banks are the _last businesses_ to go under if they play their cards right. Hey, fractional-reserve banking standards are a joke! How can anyone lose with that system? If they are so damned greedy and stupid that they need laundered money to survive, something is wrong. On the other hand, a vulnerable banker is easy prey to carrot and stick manipulation by drug cartels.
Bottom line: it is the establishment _ businessmen_ and money-lenders who _demand_ the illegal drug trade. It is their bread and butter. The sucker taxpayer keeps holding that eternal IOU. That's capitalism!
Despite this I am for legalization. I, after all, am not a money-lender. I am just a poor taxpayer...and that lent money and taxes could be better _invested_ elsewhere. On necessary infrastructure and progressive, forward-looking institutions and our greatest resource, human beings--the forgotten, nay, abandoned resource that has turned to drugs seeking solace from their alienation...

Narco economics/ relax

I wouldn't be to concerned about the replacement of capital to support the businesses mentioned in the comment above. The discussion of negative externalities linked to decriminalization is a good lesson in the efficiencies of markets. The capital would still exsist. It would merely shift to other purchases made by the consumer of the previously overpriced ilegal commodities. That same consumer would now have greater control of that capital by keeping more of it for their own spending needs. This would automaticaly induce greater efficiency. The vast majority of ilegal commodity consumers are in the midddle or low income class. That capital would flow quickly to other sectors of the economy generating corresponding overall growth. The quality of the spending would generate huge benefits for the legitimate economy by generating legaly sustainable job opportunites. The drug war military industrial complex is a grossly ineffecient system because of its secrecy, and it's rigidity. It generates such huge and intractable disfators that it is a major drag on the overall natural market. It is based on denial ignorance and criminal corruption. Additionaly the cost associated with incarcerations and the rest would generate huge savings for governments currently experiencing massive defecits. It's a win win situation all around when considering the possibillity of lower levels of addiction through the medical aproach instead of prison. It would increase efficiencies by leaving a large portion of the potential worforce available to produce at higher levels of functionality. Consider also the corresponding drop in violence associated with purchase and sail of addictive substances. The parenoia industry of security locks, alarms, and police swat teams will be replaced with greater emphasis on the services and commodities that are essential to life and the sustainability of a legitimate economy.

Narco Macro-economics, supplement

And I hate to sound off like a cynic, but there is a belief that prisons, human warehouses, serve another function: they "cure" unemployment. Each convict is one less unemployment statistic that political leaders and government bureaucrats have to "justify" to taxpayers and voters. Each prisoner automatically translates into a drop in unemployment. And as prisons fill up, why--unemployment drops! Ain't our leaders grand?
And the added bonus is that young blacks and hispanics--out of proportion to their population numbers--are warehoused in prisions during the best and prime reproductive "years of their lives" so that their "faulty" DNA and numbers don't lead to an increase in their number on the street and in the nation. Thus an ethnic "minority," for a bit longer, remains a numerical _minority_. Can anyone say "concentration camps?" I am not paranoid to the point that I will add my voice to those who scream "ethnic genocide!" regarding prison and sentencing policies based on drug possession and sales, but...
Have a nice day, Mr. Borden.

Uncle Scam is already positioned for medical acceptance....

Uncle Scam is already positioned for medical acceptance....and more profiteering... how else do you explain U.S. Patentent # 6,630,507?

The u.s. government was granted this patent years ago... claiming:
"Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties... cannabinoids are found to have particular applications as neuroprotectants... limiting neurological damage following... stroke and trauma... or in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases... such as Alzheimer's... Parkinson's... and HIV dementia".

So, while your government continues to illegally arrest & detain millions under the pretense that marijuana has NO medical value it recognises it's medical value and has obtained the patent... for the synthetic version... of the plants natural compounds.

If that's not governmental fraud on a massive criminal scale... I don't know what is!

The Problem with "Anonymous"

In my opinion Our Movement is the vast Majority of this great country. Why must we always be the SILENT Majority? I love the Post by Anonymous, but lets let the Nation and our Gov't know who we are.

Robert Hutton
Virginia

Just Off Medical Pot Probation in Iowa

I can't believe all the cops and lawyers agreed I was what I was, a medical cannabis grower here in Iowa. Usually they just go nuts on your ass here in the Land of Hoag. Here you get a five piece chicken dinner to take home and you serve a year of it if you shut your mouth and sit the whole sonofabitch out if you scream too much.

I got an informal probation for a year and minimal fine and I just finished it. Now I am heading to Oregon where I expect to get legalized myself so I can smoke and eat and grow my cannabis in my own home.

During the year of probation I learned several things. 1 we are arresting over 800,000 people a year for pot. 2 large pieces of the economy will shit blood and die if we pull the plug on illegal dope 3 mexico is going nuts from all our interference and we are going to get the hell bombed out of our asses if we don't get that fixed 4 dollar feels very held up by desperation not backing 5 Obama needs to do other things right now 6 I Want Legal Medical Pot in Iowa so I can come home! 7 Pot helps me control my pain some. It enhances the downers so I have fewer side effects 8 my homegrown kicks street crap in the butt for quality. 9 If I smell commercial I can smell horrid shit in it that is hormones or some similar crap I sure do not need in me... ever.

10 for me to have gotten any relief like I have is shocking to me. Is Iowa getting some brains on medical marijuana at long last??

Am I the only one recently not hurt by these thugs?

I totally agree with the concept that illegal activities support financial structures and their stability. FUCK EVERY ONE OF THESE GREEDY SELF SERVING PUKES!

I have a broken back and three busted ribs and a shit ton of narcotic pain controllers I am very tired of. I can eat my brownies and be alot more peaceful and not hurt anyone else in the whole world.

Legalize my Medical Marijuana NOW!! And if legalizing makes your "business" go broke... get the hell out of my way because I am the future and I need to happen as soon as possible.

addendum

I would not call myself not recently hurt by these thugs with out some clarification. I mean the establishment lock em up thugs and they have hurt me. I have been arrested for driving to a doctors apt and made to walk ten miles in the rain while my car was towed and I missed the proceedure apt. The doctor saved my ass when I got him to write me on his script pad! that I was supposed to be in for an apt and that got me let off the potential aggravated misdemeanor they had me jacked up with for driving at all because I had three plants in my closet. assholes!

I am not especially pleased to get along with these neanderthals.

Sure,they could have been worse to me. But they should have left me clear alone on all this in the first place.

SMB

Exactly why we need MERP

A similar note was raised the other week in the CNBC documentary "Marijuana Inc." During this documentary DEA agents admit that, if they could eradicate all Marijuana growing in California, many cities would go bankrupt. This is a bunch of crap, but seems to indicate a new strategy to stall movement toward the real answer: untaxed, unregulated rights to grow Marijuana and thus take the profit out of the market.

On the global scale what this idiot does not address is who is getting the profits from the Afghan heroiin trade etc. Of course a major winner are the Islamic Extremist groups (e.g., the Taliban) that control the harvest. The MERP model for Marijuana Re-Legalization would bleed every last drop of Marijuana "non-normal" profit while simeltaneously acting as a "Gatekeeper" function to insulate users from dealers who sell the harder drugs (e.g., heroin from Afghanistan). In implementing the MERP Model we kill about a 1,000 birds with one stone. It is time to launch that stone NOW!!!

Soon I will be realeasing a new series of YouTube videos that explain why we need MERP now. In the meantime you can gain an understanding of why I have authored this model below.

Drug Policy
===========

Video:
======
Marijuana: Past, Present and Future from Bruce Cain on Vimeo.
http://www.vimeo.com/2056650

Why Lou Dobbs Should Support Marijuana Legalization
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VKf5YfQb7s&

Articles:
=========
The MERP Project
The Marijuana Re-Legalization Policy (MRP) Project

www.newagecitizen.com/ReLegalization01.htm
www.newagecitizen.com/editorial_on_the_marijuana_re.htm

Marijuana Re-Legalization Coming in 1st in 2nd Obama Poll(12/31/2008)
www.opednews.com/articles/Marijuana-Re-Legalization-by-Bruce-Cain-081230...

Yes We Can -- Have Legal, Untaxed Marijuana (12/23/2008)
www.opednews.com/articles/1/Yes-We-Can--Have-Legal--by-Bruce-Cain-081220...

Audio:
======
Bruce W. Cain Discusses the MERP Model, for Marijuana Relegalization, with "Sense and Sensimilla"
http://senseandsensi.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=270029

Archives:
=========
Video Biography of Bruce W. Cain
http://www.newagecitizen.com/Videos.htm

INL HOUSE CLEANING

A little bureau tucked away in the state department will be out of jobs this month.These drug war bureaucrats have been causing problems all over the world since 1978.They are the troublemakers in Vienna right now trying to subvert president Obamas wishes.

INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE SINCE 1903 BEFORE AND AFTER

HELLO ! THE SAME GLOBAL INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE PARTNERS THAT STARTED GOING AFTER AMERICAS AND OTHER COUNTRIES FARMERS GRANGE CO-OPS IN 1903 TO STOP LOCAL FARMERS FROM PRODUCING FUEL FOR LOCAL FOLKS IS THE SAME GLOBAL ESPIONAGE GROUP WHICH WHICH STARTED ALCOHOL PROHIBITION AND HAD CANNABIS PROHIBITION WELL PLANNED ALONG WITH IT AS A WAY AND MEANS TO CRIPPLE LOCAL SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION. THIS DOUBLE STANDARD BASED MONOPOLY RESIDES PARTIALLY ON WALL STREET AND PARTIALLY IN EVERY GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP ON PLANET EARTH. IT IS THE SAME INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE BEFORE 1903 AND THE SAME IN THIS PRESENT. THESE PROHIBITIONISTS HAVE USED INFLUENCE OF LAW MAKING AND THE ABILITY TO EXEMPT THEMSELVES FROM THE LAWS BY EXPECTING EVERYONE TO CONSENT TO LAWS WHICH ARE MADE WITHOUT PERSONAL OR PUBLIC CONSENT AS A MEANS OF PROFITEERING VIA INSIDER TRADING EXEMPTIONS GIVEN TO THE OPERATORS OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM,THE STOCK MARKET,AND MANY OTHER INSIDER TRADING GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE ALWAYS THEN AND NOW INFILTRATE THE PLANETS POWER ENFORCEMENT AND THOUGHT CONDITIONERS.

what the uck

what the uck are we going to do about this shit

The D.E.A. and F.D.A. are a forced religious cult

Death to the D.E.A.,F.D.A.,and all other forced religions which fraudulently occupy this planet.! The military should begin to eliminate all D.E.A.,F.D.A.,Monsanto etc. terrorists immediately.

D.E.A. AND SUPPORTERS TO BE ELIMINATED

ALL D.E.A. PROHIBITIONIST INSIDER TRADERS ARE FRAUDULENTLY OCCUPYING THIS PLANET AND ARE INSTRUCTED TO PERMANENTLY DISBAND AND CEASE ALL OPERATIONS. PETROCHEMICEUTICAL CORPORATIONS CURRENTLY PROFITING FROM D.E.A. PROHIBITIONS BE ADVISED 'YOU ARE INVOLVED IN ONE OF THE WORLDS LARGEST INSIDER TRADING , MASS CRUELTY AND TERROR RACKETS IN HISTORY.SOCIOECONOMIC TERROR AND PLUNDER IS NO LONGER RECOGNIZED AS VALID.

THE PROBLEM WITH ANONYMOUS?

THE FORCED INSIDER TRADING CULT WHICH USES MANUFACTURED CONSENT TO PLUNDER,TERROR,WARS,DRUG WARS AND ALL THESE SO CALLED LEGAL ATROCITIES STILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS AND CONTINUE TO EXEMPT THEMSELVES FROM ALL PENALTIES. THE GOVERNMENT LEADERS AT THE HELM OF ENFORCING LAWS ARE SERIAL,MASS MURDURERS AND CAN GET AWAY WITH ANY CRIME THAT THEY HAVE LISTED ON THEIR OWN BOOKS. THE DRUG WAR OPERATORS AND POLICE THAT CONTINUE SUPPORT THEM BY FORCING THEIR FRAUDULENT VIOLENT INSIDER TRADING FOR DOUBLE STANDARD BASED PROFIT AND POWER SCAM ON THE PUBLIC AND INDIVIDUAL CAN NOT BE REASONED WITH ;PERIOD! THAT IS JUST WHAT TERRORIST GROUPS DO;THEY START PROHIBITIONS,WARS,DRUG WARS,YADDA,BLAH FOR PROFIT AND WILL TORTURE AND/OR KILL PEOPLE WHO QUESTION OR REJECT THEIR AUTHORITY . THIS IS WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS ,BECAUSE THE PROHIBITIONISTS ARE TERRORISTS WHO POSE AS PUBLIC SERVANTS AS A WAY AND MEANS OF CONTINUING THEIR UNCONSTITUTIONAL DICTATORSHIPS FRAUDULENT OCCUPATION.

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